At six weeks of age, Kolly captures my heart. Her sweet disposition and smile have this effervescent effect on me like I’m bubbling up inside.
I can’t help but grin.
We’ve called her Cozy Kolly because she prefers to sleep on someone’s chest rather than her own bed. Heartbeat close.
She’s aware of the importance of connecting with others.
She is, however, the cause of exhaustion for both her parents, especially her mother. She’s not yet sleeping through the night, and there are those moments when the house is quiet and rest is expected that Kolly thinks it’s time to play.
That doesn’t solve parental weariness.
Yet such behavior doesn’t make them love her any less. They waited a long time for Kolly, and their delight and joy in her has nothing to do with her ability to nap appropriately or smile when they want her to.
She’s their daughter.
There aren’t a lot of places in life where that unconditional love is poured out so freely. I’m grateful for my friends and family, but none of them fully knows me. They see the bits and pieces I share with them, often not wanting to show that part of myself that is insecure or feels too much or not enough for those around me. I’m an inveterate people-pleaser who can become a chameleon to fit in with others. I’m not being disingenuous; it’s my strategy of self-protection coupled with my desire to be accepted.
I don’t have anyone reading my mind, which is a wonderful thing because too often the mess that’s inside my head is more than I can understand. Those hidden thoughts too often keep me from accepting the fact that others like me as I am.
I’m not the only one to live like this. Social media too often pushes us to show our best sides, no matter if that’s who we really are or not. We manage an image to fit in, belong, and be accepted by those we value.
Kolly doesn’t have to do any of that. Even when she’s had one dirty diaper after another and her poop shoots up the back of her diaper requiring her whole outfit to be changed, this doesn’t disgust her parents so much that they want to walk away from the situation, away from her.
They love her, even though she’s never done anything to earn their love.
That’s how God loves us–unconditionally. He operates with a heart of grace–unmerited divine assistance given to us by God because of His love.
Every world religion tells us that we have to be the ones building the bridge between us and the God we choose to believe in. We’re supposed to understand how to build that bridge and have the ability and capacity to do it. Usually with no guarantee that whatever we do will be enough to get us into heaven.
Christianity is the only faith where God has reached out to us in grace, offering to bridge the gap between us and Him so we may be assured of heaven with Him.
Kolly is a wonderful child, but she’s never done a thing to earn love from anyone.
That’s how God sees us–in need of love, offering it without any strings attached.
Because He loves us first.